Abdisalan Hassan Hersi, governor of the Nugaal region in northeastern Somalia has been killed in a suicide bomb blast claimed by the al-Shabab armed group, police said on Monday.
A former police commander and a civilian also wounded in the blast were being treated in hospital, officials said.
“The doctors tried to save the governor’s life, but unfortunately he died from his injuries. He was in a critical condition when he was admitted to hospital”, a police officer told the media.
Witnesses described the attacker running at the governor’s vehicle before detonating a suicide vest, triggering an explosion.
Al-Shabab is linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation. It controls much of southern and central Somalia, but also performs terrorist operations in Kenya. It is estimated to have several thousand fighters, including foreign fighters, some of which are from the Middle East with experience in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
The notorious organisation grew out of the anarchy that crippled Somalia after warlords ousted a longtime dictator in 1991. The group was driven out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 and lost most of their strongholds, but still control vast swathes of the countryside.